Do You Have a Holiday Bargain Hunter Strategy?

They’ve always existed, but perhaps now more than ever, bargain hunters are a little more prevalent due to the recent upheaval in all our lives. And they’re getting ready for the holiday season.

Canadians especially love to bargain shop. Whether it’s due to a higher cost of living or a tad less disposable income than their American counterparts, Canadian bargain hunters go the extra mile — 87% will stock up on their favourites whenever they find a sale. A vast majority of these sales scouts consider sales to be extremely important when making purchasing decisions.

The fact that bargain hunters are on the prowl now more than any other time in recent history is due to economic uncertainty and an ever-increasing anxiety regarding physical shopping. In fact, in May 2020, online sales rose 99.3% compared to online sales in February.

Here’s what you need to understand about bargain hunters, and how to meet their expectations and capture their interest this holiday season – and beyond.

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What Makes Bargain Hunters Tick?

Consumer insights company Numerator’s holiday consumer intentions study revealed 27% of Canadians planned to buy Christmas gifts on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, holidays originally popularized in the United States. For those shoppers who love the thrill of a steal, the holidays are magical. Not only do they get to spread the joy by spending on others, they do it while saving their money.

They think strategically

These deal detectives don’t just purchase the first “deal” they find — they investigate first. They’re not fulfilled by instant gratification. In fact, most would rather wait for an item to go on sale.

They cross several demographics

It’s only been recently that shopping trend analysts have concluded that bargain hunters don’t fit into just one demographic — they’re made up of consumers across age, gender, income and background demographics.

The hunt is half the fun

When thinking of the average bargain hunter, you might think of Ebenezer Scrooge counting his coins, but today’s sale scouts are a different breed. Perhaps it’s due to the evolution of gamification. Today’s bargain hunters are all about the hunt. Just knowing that they’ve paid less than someone else is the equivalent of gaining an extra life in their favourite game. More people are becoming conscientious of how and where they spend their hard-earned dollars. It’s still thrilling to score a deal, but it’s also about thrifty spending now.

They’re easy to please

Some shop owners might view bargain hunters as bad for their bottom line, but in the current global climate, it’s time to rethink that supposition. Over half of the respondents to a worldwide survey conducted by GlobalData claimed that brands embracing bargain pricing during a pandemic would earn their business.

It’s not just those deal detectives either — all consumers are examining how they can save money now and stretch their dollars. Sales, bundles and other types of discounts appeal to everyone, not just those who bargain shop. If you don’t already, consider selling gift cards and incentivize the purchase of multiple gift cards by offering packs at a cheaper price. You can boost sales and bring in new customers during the holidays and all year round. Customize your own cards through Square Dashboard, or choose from available designs, without paying fees.

Meeting Bargain Hunter’s Expectations

The holidays are coming. Bargain hunters are on the lookout for deals, both in store (where appropriate) and online. They’re most likely comparing prices between businesses, so letting them know about your deals is necessary.

Because they’re already looking, you need to:

•      Have sales displayed prominently
•      Make it easy to take advantage of your discounts
•      Pay forward any sales referrals you receive

Doing the above in a caring and compassionate manner also helps you build credibility and trust with your local shopping public.

Catching the Bargain Hunter’s Eye

Savings are obviously one of the greatest draws for a bargain hunter, but as noted above, it’s also about the hunt itself. Consider some of the ways you can make finding your special deals appealing. How can you help your customers feel like they just won big-time?

Offer deep discounts or bundled items

More people buy in bulk during uncertain times. If you can offer any of your products as a bundled deal, you’re sure to catch a roving bargain hunter’s eye.

Gamification — only better

Remember how bargain hunters live for the ultimate score? While offering deep, in-store or online discounts, consider offering coupon codes for your loyal customers, giving them an even deeper discount. Or, incentivize purchasing several of the same item by offering the fourth one free. If you want to get email addresses from new customers this holiday season, consider a one-time freebie or discount in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter or email list.

Social sharing is caring

Hashtags and other social media methods are perfect for promoting your current sales. Consider a special discount for referrals garnered from your customers’ social posts — it’s a win-win for all concerned.

End with a teaser

There really is value in your customers who love to bargain shop: return visits. Next time a new customer makes a purchase, incentivize their next visit (in store where appropriate or online) with a percentage off their next purchase or a special invite to a customer loyalty sale. If you enrol them in your loyalty program, offer extra points with their next purchase that they can use toward discounts on future purchases.

Reaching Bargain Hunters Recap

Keep these points in mind:

•      Sales and upcoming discounts should be given priority placement in store and online
•      Offer discounts for referrals
•      Remember to incentivize and motivate
•      Encourage social sharing
•      Build anticipation for their next visit

While the holidays are the perfect time to highlight your product offerings, these tips for reaching bargain hunters can work throughout the year and for seasons to come. Track how your promotions are performing, accept gift cards and more with Square for Retail POS.